How To Measure Shoe Size: Step By Step Guide

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If you're trying to figure out how to measure shoe size, you've come to the right place.

We know it can be challenging to find a pair of shoes that fit perfectly, especially as shoe sizes aren't always consistent across every sneaker brand.

Fortunately, we've put together this guide to talk you through the measuring process, highlighting a few top tips along the way in order to ensure you find the fit right.

Whether you're eyeing up a pair of new sneakers from our list of the best basketball shoes, or you're looking to pick up something comfortable from our list of the best sneakers for summer, then we've got you covered right here.

How To Measure Shoe Size?

Before we get into how to measure your feet, there are a few things we'd recommend doing first in order to get the best results.

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Image of someone measuring a foot with a yellow tape measure.
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Credit: Vionic Shoes

Firstly, we suggest measuring your feet wearing the same socks you plan to wear most with your shoes. This will then help you take them into account when deciding on which size to go with.

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We'd also recommend measuring your feet in the evening. This is because your feet are actually at their largest during this time. Therefore, factoring this in beforehand should lead to the most accurate results.

With that covered, let's dive in...

Step 1: Place a piece of paper on a hard floor and stand on it, ensuring your full weight is resting on said foot.

Top Tip: If your foot is longer than a single sheet of paper, you can simply tape two pieces together.

Step 2: With a pen or pencil pointing straight down, trace around the outline of your foot. It would probably be easiest to have someone do this for you, but you can do it yourself if needed.

Image of someone tracing around their left foot on paper.
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Credit: Dicks Sporting Goods

Step 3: Repeat the first two steps with your other foot to find out which is larger.

Step 4: Using a tape measure or ruler, measure the length of both your feet from the tip of your big toe to the outermost part of your heel. Alternatively, you can pick up a dedicated device, like this bit of kit from Burlingham, which can make things a little easier.

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Image of someone measuring their foot outline with an orange ruler.
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Credit: Dicks Sporting Goods

Step 5: Using the same process as Step 4, measure the distance between the two widest points of your feet.

Step 6: Take your larger foot measurement and compare it to a manufacturer's size chart. We'll provide more detail on this next.

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How To Find Your Shoe Size?

With your foot measurements acquired, you can now compare to a shoe size chart. There are several things to keep in mind here though.

Firstly, although most brands' shoe sizes will be similar, they're not always exactly the same as mentioned. This is something we've covered in more detail in our guide to Nike and adidas, plus Nike and New Balance sizing.

For instance, Nike shoes generally fit slightly larger than adidas sneakers, which is worth keeping in mind when picking up your next pair of trainers.

Nike size chart vs Adidas size chart for shoes.
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Credit: Run Repeat

It's also worth considering adding a couple of centimeters to your measurements, particularly for sports footwear, in order to account for your feet expanding during exercise.

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Asics, a brand we've featured before in our list of the best marathon shoes, suggests adding 1 to 1.5cm to the length for an optimal fit.

This is supported by Clarks' recommendation of leaving about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoes to maximise comfort.

However, you need to team shoe size with correct lacing to ensure a secure lock-in and to maximise comfort. Check out our guide to lacing Jordans, Vans, Converse, and even Nike Dunks right here for our top tips.

How To Test Your New Shoe Size?

Despite measuring your feet, it's still important to test your shoes right out of the box to ensure they fit comfortably.

The simplest way to do this is to walk or even go for a short run in them to check whether they feel correct. It's worth keeping in mind here that shoes often become more comfortable after a period of you 'breaking them in'.

According to Nike's guide though, you should still check whether you have space in each shoe's toe box to move your toes freely.

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Moreover, check whether you can feel your heels slipping out of them and whether you're feeling any pressure points causing discomfort. If so, this is a sign you may need a slightly bigger size.

This is something we've also covered in more detail in our guide to finding the right fit for basketball shoes, but can still be applied to almost every type of footwear available.

Once you're happy you're comfortable in your shoes though, then you can keep your size in mind when purchasing future sneakers.

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